Monday, 16 November 2020

How to Make this Christmas Extra Special


The top half of a Christmas gift wrapped in gold paper with a bow
This year more people than ever are finding themselves separated for long periods and long-distance relationships are becoming unavoidable. This means that Christmas shopping habits may be a little different, with the focus on items that are digital or easy to post. It's easy to think that Christmas will be less of an occasion this year, because of all the restrictions in place, but I hope it can be an opportunity to do things a little differently and embrace traditions that have been lost to commercialism over the years. If there's one thing this year has taught us, it's that we have a lot to be thankful for and we can often make the best of our situation and find joy in the small things. Here are some ideas to make Christmas extra special this year, despite what December has to throw at us! 

This post is sponsored by Moonpig

Give the Gift of Communication

It looks like, certainly for our older community, there may be more restrictions to come but, even if there isn't, letter writing is a lost art and the joy of receiving something other than a bill in the post is seldom felt these days. It's a great idea to encourage communication for people who are isolated and might find modern technology a struggle. Putting together a letter writing kit for an older relative who can't see as many people as they like is a great way to help them stay in touch. A pretty box or gift bag is all you need to start off, then just add pens, colourful paper, notecards, envelopes, and, of course, stamps. If your friend or relative is quite forgetful, you could even write your address details on the envelope. 

Photo Gifts to Combat Loneliness

This year has been a lonely time for a lot of people and it's meant that photographs have started to become significant to remind people of those they can't see that often. These days, you can get so much more creative than just a frame. You can add a photo to a t-shirt, a mug, or even a Christmas card. Moonpig has a frankly astonishing array of photo mugs and cards. It's a lovely way to create a permanent reminder that those we can't see as often as we like are still very much in our thoughts. 

A selection of festive mugs from Moonpig, including Spiderman and a very jolly snowman

Embrace the Crafts

If you can't get out to go shopping for Christmas decorations, or if you just don't want to, since it's a bit bonkers out there, you could have a crack at making your own decorations. This is a great example of a tradition that has been largely lost over the years and can be as simple as stringing popcorn onto a thread to make an alternative to tinsel or making and decorating gingerbread biscuits to hang on the tree. You don't have to be great at it to have a go and it can be a really fun family distraction, especially at the moment when activities are limited. If you are a whizz with glitter or decoupage, you could even make decorations to give to neighbours if you know they might struggle to get out. It's a great way to spread Christmas cheer!

Gift Experiences Bring Hope and Togetherness

I've been giving gift experiences this year as a way of providing something to look forward to, but they are some that you may be able to use straightaway, depending on local restrictions. Something like a Segway experience can be enjoyed even with social distancing restrictions in place and for the more involved experiences like wine tasting, or a steam train ride, you can choose one with a long expiry date. Moonpig offers a range of gift experiences with an 18-month expiry, which is perfect for our unpredictable circumstances right now. Also, and this was a complete surprise to me but very relevant to our long-distance theme, they offer experiences that can be shared across the miles, via video conferencing, such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. At-home playdates, date nights or quiz nights are a brilliant way to bring family together, or treat loved ones who are in a long distance relationship, or just missing their friends. 

A cosy fleece with a lady lying on it, with just her feet in view, wearing thick socks with a cup of coffee beside her

The Best Things in Life are Free

There are plenty of free activities that you can take part in to ramp up the Christmas cheer without taking risks or breaking local rules. 

  • Sing Christmas Carols - You can do this in your own home, over Skype, or entertain the neighbours. You could even organise a street carol singing event where you all sing from your doorsteps. 
  • Read a Christmas Story or Poem - My favourite Christmas poem is King John's Christmas by A A Milne, but there are lots of others to entertain you, if that one's not your thing. 
  • Watch a Christmas Film... or Two - There are so many amazing Christmas films available and they will go a long way to raising your Christmas spirit. 
  • Walk or Drive to see the Lights - Once it gets dark, wrap up warm and take a walk around your local area to see how many different light displays you can spot. It's hard not to feel festive with twinkling lights all around. 

A house completely covered in Christmas lights and decorations of all shapes and sizes, the garden also has decorations all over it. It's very bright and a bit bonkers.

As I write this, the near future is looking very uncertain for all of us and it's a worrying time, but with a little imagination and a lot of determination we can make this Christmas the best it can be, giving us all a much-needed positive event to look forward to. Knowing that we are all in it together and there for each other, just might make this Christmas season a whole lot better than we were expecting. 



  1. Great post. I love the idea of sending a writing kit to get someone started and a photo really is worth 1000 words. Xx

    1. It is. I love photos, it's a shame they mostly seem to stay on people's devices these days.

  2. It certainly is going to be a strange Christmas and we've already decided that no matter what the powers that be say we're staying home and not having visitors. We're still going to make it special and maybe start some new traditions.
    The letter writing kit sounds such a lovely idea and I am already planning some photo gifts for family x

    1. We are staying visitor-free too. There are lots of other ways to communicate these days which does help. I hope you have a lovely one anyway! :) x


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